NDA is excited to begin a consistent Therapy Animal Program next month when Edgar, a therapy dog, begins volunteering on campus on a regular basis. Research in this field proves that a Therapy Animal Program has many health and wellness benefits including the increase in the release of endorphins, oxytocin, prolactin and dopamine. These hormones are associated with blood pressure regulation, pain relief, stress relief and joy. In addition, visits from therapy animals have shown to lessen worry, anxiety, pain and social isolation.
Edgar, the therapy dog, is a six year old Golden Retriever who has visited NDA many times over the last several years. He works with his handler, Mrs. Julie Neubacher who serves as a part time School Nurse at NDA. Edgar and Mrs. Neubacher are a specially trained, evaluated and registered team through Pet Partners – the gold standard in the Animal Therapy field. If you want to learn more about the Pet Partners program visit their website at www.petpartners.org.
Edgar started his career as a trainee with 4 Paws for Ability – a service dog training organization. He soon found his bark and learned he enjoyed being a pet and therapy dog more than a service dog. Edgar has worked as a therapy dog for the past 3 1/2 years at various locations including NDA, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, St. Pius X grade school and Great American Ballpark. In August 2022, Edgar and Mrs. Neubacher passed their latest round of team testing with a “complex” visit rating meaning they are well equipped to serve at NDA.
NDA recognizes there are students who may have allergies, a fear of animals or who do not wish to interact with Edgar for any reason. If this applies to your daughter and she needs to OPT OUT from any voluntary visits with Edgar, please email the school nurse (firstname.lastname@example.org) with more information.